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Apathy on MTN’s 35% shares in Ghana, latest CBN’s hammer cloud NSE listing

More signals have emerged indicating that the endless back and forth movement of preparations by leading telecoms giant, MTN Nigeria to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may face permanent back movement.

Since 2015 after it was clear that part of the deal to slash a N1.4tn fine slammed on MTN Nigeria for breaches in SIM registration was listing on the bourse, the company has continued to postpone appearance with momentary excuses.

But with the latest wave of challenges, industry analysts who barred their minds on the preparedness of MTN in hitting the market any time soon said it will be too close to call for the company to put paid to NSE listing sooner than later.

Earlier last week, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) slammed sanctions on the telecom and went the extra mile to order it to return over $8.1bn it repatriated in connivance with four banks who are equally sanctioned.

Though MTN has began a strong contest of the sanction, citing an initial Senate clearance, only one of the bank, Stanbic IBTC has reacted with a step by step rebuttal of the CBN claims.

Besides and far away in Ghana, the telecom experience in its recent Initial Public offer (IPO) at Ghana bourse may not be well palatable.

Business Hilights gathered on Monday that a document seen by Bloomberg showed that MTN Group’s unit in Ghana raised 1.1 billion cedis ($236 million), which represents only about a third of the shares made available in an initial public offering,

MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company by subscribers, sold 1.5 billion securities of the initial agreed 4.6 billion shares at 75 pesewas each, when it offered a 35 per cent stake in the unit in May.

Accordingly, the shares will be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, with trading due to start September 5, as contained in the sale’s prospectus.

Another issue of regret and shock for the company is the discovery that MTN Ghana apparently failed to fulfill regulatory requirement that will enable it list the Nigerian unit, estimated at $5.23 billion on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as earlier promised by the Group.

This stemmed from the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had in a recent press briefing, in Lagos, stated that neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application on the IPO with the commission.

MTN Nigeria had in July 2016, announced that its board has resolved to proceed with preparations for a listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), saying the IPO will go ahead “as soon as commercially and legally possible”, and that it had established a management task team with the responsibility to guide the company towards the listing.